01. Enter Goddamned CNS
Mithrin: The most 'conventional' song on the album, and a natural opener. It has a nice overall groove and should be a good live-song.
Helstein about the lyrics: The last stages of a presumed dead, bad-ass incident (in modern times) forcing its way/fumbling around and demanding to be released/found within. Body functions, etc, are so extremely corrupted by, whatever, that the original persons soul is gone. It specifically underlines that the body doesn't seem to die as long as the soul maintains a somehow impossible, beyond ugly condition. (Ancient strategies meets "high-tech surgery")
02. Volatile Winter
Mithrin: This is the last song that was made for The Menace Within, and I think it's the closest you get to a title-song for the album. The opening should raise some eyebrows, with the acoustic guitar and the unusual rhythm. It's both up-tempo and positive in one way and somehow scary in a different way, which reflects the lyrics that spin around the human mind and mental struggles. Mid-way, the song sort of opens up a new door with a slow groovy part and a violin sample before it explodes into a very nice chorus-like part that also ends the song later on. This is definitely one of my favourite songs.
Mithrin: Helstein once pointed out to me that the small intro resembles a famous Christmas-song, which is actually true! However, the song itself is far from cosy, with some really violent parts and terrifying lyrics. The sudden change comes with a strange organ-echo part that evolves into the first clean vocals on the album, which I think turned out fantastic. A lot of different stuff is going on before the song dies out with a Burzum-like monotone melody.
Helstein about the lyrics: Personification of Tellus. Complainment, hope in hopelessness, anxiety...its own visions. The words are also aimed on a complex personal level, parallel. A "distant observer" speaking to our planet - the planet speaking to itself - the planet speaking to Man - Man speaking to it. Communication in a greater picture and secrets of the future.
04. Pallid Eyes
Mithrin: At some point I just had to make a song like this. It's basically verse-chorus with a steady tempo and you just HAVE to bang your head to this one! The most important thing is that this song creates a 4-minute "breathing space" between all the progressive and difficult stuff. I love the way the chorus turned out and the way the cleaner mid-part breaks up the song. We also made a video for this one, it was a natural choice really. Even people who don't really listen to extreme metal can find this song attractive and it should be an amazing live-song. The lyrics are once again about metal struggles and suicidal thoughts.
05. Reclamation of Merciless January
Mithrin: A very special song indeed, as it is dedicated to Valfar of Windir who died in the Norwegian mountains in January 2004. The whole song has a very Windir-like touch, from the drum rhythms and guitar melodies at the start to the atmospheric ending parts. It may come as a surprise that the clean vocals near the end are actually performed by Gorbag! I don't know why and how he came up with that (none of us knew he could sing anyway!), but it turned out great and lifted the song an extra notch.
Helstein about the lyrics: Strictly written in the memory of VALFAR, the founder of WINDIR. It describes what I heard/read concerning what happened that sad day. It's no conclusion about anything around how he died or anything. Just a dedication to a very special, local and great artist! (R.I.P.)
Mithrin: For a long time I thought of having this one as the opening song of the album. It starts with a strange synth-bass part that evolves with drums and guitars into a blasting Black Metal melody and continues in a very progressive manner. It has some nice groovy parts at the end. I think this is the song that resembles the "Invisible" album the most. The lyrics are about suffocation of the inner self and about people who let their minds and bodies being used by others.
07. Disfigured Divinity
Mithrin: I think a lot of Black Metal people will seriously choke on their beers when they hear this one. Starting off with a Heavy Metal-like theme, it evolves in a very progressive manner with some symphonic stuff and some cleaner parts. But the real surprise comes near the end, when a dark chord-progression is introduced by a theatre organ that burst into a very unorthodox clean vocals part that is far from everything that has anything to do with extreme metal. I think the atmosphere is just amazing and I can't wait to get a chance to play this on a stage. The guitar melody that comes in after the clean vocals, is taken from an old Commodore 64-game called "Last Ninja 2".
Helstein about the lyrics: A human being progressing to supremacy, basically. Man starts to doubt its rather complex philosophies and behaviour. Trust fades, healing powers, etc, dips to the opposite. Tempted by its also evil powers, the self-claimed "saviour" creates mayhem. It's an everlong story done short. At the end there is nothing left but a heavily tested and haunted human being. It's also a twist about why Man can only use small amounts of the brain-capacity/what could happen if someone, somehow broke this "code"/got "programmed" to demonstrate the maximum of how we could develop/if we could control it or if it would turn evil with the same intensity. (It's not about Christianity)
08. Enticing Defeat
Mithrin: Maybe not the most experimental song on the album, but it has a nice overall atmosphere. Especially the bass/synth-part with the clean vocals turned out very good and the song creates a sort of relief after the long and avantgarde Disfigured Divinity. The lyrics are about the need to 'fit in', in exchange for true personality and personal opinions. It's also about the destructive forces of group pressure.
09. Explicit Repugnance (of Dying)
Mithrin: A natural ending song, as it wraps up much of the album within its 7 minutes. The song builds up nice and easy with groovy and melodic parts, and I love the Abbath-like vocals that Gorbag came up with. Mid-way the song changes into a more atmospheric state and I'm extremely proud of the part that starts with the clarinet-sample and bursts into clean vocals and heavy guitars. I always get goosebumps when Helstein's vocals kick in and when the song dies out there's a big grin on my face!
Helstein about the lyrics: Complex, back and forth in time and chaotic. Dimensional moodshifts. It's basically a "die hard" theme. Anti-suicide/death attitude. Withstand pain-beat your own deathwish. The need to see what the future brings kills the need to disappear permanently. It describes also blocked and supplanted memories reappearing and deprogressing the will to live even more. The ending words are a bit of a riddle though.
Helstein about the lyrics in general: All the words are really personal twists, tried aimed as shear extreme entertainment. There are definitely many other subjects/issues floating around within the lyrics. I see them, myself, as unlimited with a manifold destination.